Album Review: Friends | Manifest!

by Intern Jessica Butler

Brooklyn based quintet Friends are set to release their debut album, Manifest!, on Fat Possum Records June 5th, just in time for the summer. Brimming with tropical pop rhythms and percussive tribal beats, this album is perfect for hot rooftop parties and beach side dances the gals of Blue Hawaii would be jealous of. The album opens with the explosive and catchy “Friend Crush,” full of rippling synth lines and reverb-laden vocals reminiscent of Karen O or Santigold. “Sorry” follows, beginning with a deceptively delicate introduction, before breaking into an infectious burst of chanting, drumming, and an excited “Hoo!” from singer Samantha Urbani. Next up is “Home,” which speaks to some of the more disco-inspired songs on the album that contain funky bass lines and rhythmic group clapping (not to mention some fine tambourine shaking). “I’m His Girl,” for example, begs for bellbottoms with serious cowbell and triangle dinging. The song also serves as a bit of a feminist anthem on relationships, with lyrics like “And I can be proud that I’m his girl/‘Cause I know that I’m good all by myself/See I don’t need his love,” assuring individuality within couples. “Va Fan Gör Du” channels a more B-52s-inspired sound with group vocal accompaniments and background comments, but similarly contains charged lines such as, “Hey, who you think I am?/Some bitch on the street,/Some piece of meat/That you wanna holler at?” Despite the sometimes schizophrenic vocal and musical style on the album, you’re sure to enjoy yourself listening to Manifest!. Just please don’t break your hip from twisting too hard. 

To hold you over until the release, check out their new music video for “Mind Control,” below!

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